Opportunities Long Island is a 501(c) (3) outreach and training program which provides access to high-quality careers in the unionized construction industry to qualified individuals in low-income communities. Through partnerships with the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council, Suffolk County Department of Labor, the United Way of Long Island, Hempstead Works and community leaders, we target communities in Nassau and Suffolk County with high unemployment rates and large minority populations. Trainees receive job readiness classes, gain knowledge about the crafts and learn the skills needed to be competitive when applying for a union apprenticeship. Opportunities Long Island has been granted direct entry and is an approved apprenticeship preparation program through the New York State Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Council.
Watch Program Parter Testimonies below
Opportunities Long Island utilizes the Building Trades Multi-Craft Core Curriculum for the training foundation. It includes 240 hours of classroom and hands-on training stressing the importance of job readiness. The program curriculum has the following points of emphasis:
- The history of the American labor movement;
- An introduction to the crafts which comprise the Building Trades;
- The importance of math and measurement in the construction industry;
- Safety certifications which are needed to work on a construction site;
- Visits to union apprenticeship schools;
- Classroom instruction by Building Trades Instructors
In conjunction with classroom and on-site learning, the program draws upon industry professionals who can share their personal experiences. We believe these personal interactions are key factors which can motivate the trainees to succeed as we emphasize to students the importance of “putting your best foot forward.” In an effort to support students at the close of our program we bring in leaders from different construction locals to reinforce best practices as they prepare for an interview to enter into the unionized construction industry.
Opportunities Long Island addresses the concerns that economic development on Long Island will leave behind communities which have large minority populations and high unemployment, several of which are targeted for large redevelopment. It represents a change in the culture of economic development and offers a chance for lasting careers for people in underserved communities. It means a commitment to jobs which will reinforce the middle class – jobs with good pay and benefits. It promises a better future for Long Island.
Watch OLI Student Testimonies below